"We stand by Jim Acosta: The actions today against Mr. Acosta are a threat to free speech and reporters, and it violates the spirit and sanctity of a free press."

The Maryland Delaware District of Columbia Press Association condemns in the strongest words possible the actions of President Donald Trump’s White House for suspending the privileges of CNN reporter Jim Acosta after Wednesday's televised presidential news conference.

The MDDC represents hundreds of reporters, editors and newspapers in the region and dozens of reporters from member organizations cover the White House.

The actions today against Mr. Acosta are a threat to free speech and reporters, and it violates the spirit and sanctity of a free press.

Further, several reporters of member organizations present during the press conference do not concur with the White House’s accusations against Mr. Acosta and videotape shows he never laid hands on anyone. He was a reporter asking a question and trying to do his job.

Therefore, we can only surmise the real intention of the White House is to bully, intimidate and divide the press.

We stand by Mr. Acosta and we stand with all journalists who stand up to this type of abuse from the government.

Whether it be a federal, state or local official, the government is accountable to the people and we take the accountability of government very seriously.

Mr. President, you owe Mr. Acosta and the rest of the media an apology.